John 2015: Day 17

The Fruit of Abiding

by

Today's Text: John 15:1-27

Text: John 15:1-27

I’m the queen of focusing on the wrong things.

My daughter makes an amazing piece of 7-year-old art and declares it dedicated to her mom (that’s me!)—and I silently lament the sea of paper covering the floor and the glue stick smashed into all the creases in the dining room table.

A long-lost friend says she and her family are coming to visit for a weekend—and I spend more time worrying about the condition of the guest room than rejoicing in the long conversations and late-night laughter to come.

My husband spends hours creating new storage solutions for our mudroom (slash laundry room, slash pantry, slash coat closet, slash place the dog stays so she won’t eat the food off our plates)—and I involuntarily scowl that my tired, dirty, three-compartment clothes hamper will no longer fit. (Three compartments! You can understand my sadness.)

And here, in John Chapter 15, Jesus says this:

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
– John 15:4-5, ESV

But do you know what I hear? I hear, “Bear fruit.” Or, to be more specific, “Amanda, bear fruit,” and, “Amanda, why aren’t you bearing fruit?” I, the Queen of Focusing On The Wrong Things, read Jesus’ words and hear all of the goal and none of the grace. I want the end but forget the means.

Yes, bear fruit. Yes, love others. Yes, give grace to a world that will misunderstand and even hate us. But look back through today’s chapter: Jesus is not commanding His disciples to bear fruit. The command is to abide! When we abide—when we remain in the “Never Stopping, Never Giving up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love” of Christ (to borrow my favorite phrase from the Jesus Storybook Bible)—THEN the fruit will come. But only then.

We can only bear fruit if we are grafted into the Vine.
We can only love others if we are abiding in God’s love.
And we can only receive the gospel if we receive it whole—where the holy standard of a righteous God meets the irresistible grace of the Savior’s Cross.

Father, thank you for your Word. Graft us to the True Vine today and every day, and teach us what it means to abide when all we want to do is produce. Help us to rest in your never-stopping love. Amen.

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  • I abide in you Lord! Amen!

  • shamekamichelle

    I have been going through so much these last few weeks. I made bad decisions that were outside of God's word and I felt as though I was drowning in emotions and negative consequences. I felt as though I was spiraling out of control and became very angry and bitter. Negative thinking had me bound. THEN I read Chapter 15 and read this devotional and I could hear God clearly saying "Shameka you cannot control others, only yourself. With that being said, Abide in Me. I am working every detail out so stop trying to fix it. Abide in Me and I will give you joy and peace." These past two days I have been trying to think positive and abide in God. I know that He will get me through this trial and it will give me a praise in my heart.

    • shamekamichelle

      I was watching Diary of a Mad Black Woman the other night and Tyler said something that made me think: "How do you know this is not your blessing? You know sometimes we hold onto the very thing that God is trying to tear apart." My spirit flinched when I heard that and I asked myself "Despite my bad decisions, am I holding on to someone and something that God is trying to remove out of way to my destiny?" I have to remember that victory is already mine through Christ Jesus and that Satan has no power over me except what I willing give him. As long as I abide in Jesus everything will work out for my good. I need to seek first the kingdom of God and then and only then will things turn around. My focus has not been on God and it has affected every aspect of my life. I am ready for a change. Slowly moving back towards God and His will for my life.

  • Thank you so much for sharing that Julie. I’ve been feeling the same way lately. How different our lives would be if we simply sat and listened to his guidance for our unique and carefully crafted story that is waiting to unfold if we would simply listen and abide in Him alone.

  • Sometimes I feel like doing the ‘right’ thing or Christian thing is abiding in Him. However I am not really tuned in to his voice…I am not abiding in him but other believers…relying on their strength and his voice in their life. What does he say to me each day? What is my response to his whisper?

    • Steph

      This touched deep today. The struggle is real and I can tell when I’ve created idols in my life when my mind is constantly redirected to whatever I am placing as “god” and having a heart stayed on God is an impossible effort. That’s when I realize I need to kneel facedown before the father and confess to him who is faithful and just and cleanses us from unrighteousness. Then the abiding comes. Awareness that I am nothing without Christ and can do nothing without him but also aware that I am everything in Him! Abiding in him. Keep my heart stayed on you Father. Neither life or death can separate us from the love of Christ!

      • Julie

        Oooo that is beautiful Steph! Nothing without him and everything with him!

    • Livvy

      Thank you so much for sharing that Julie. I’ve been feeling the same way lately. How different our lives would be if we simply sat and listened to his guidance for our unique and carefully crafted story that is waiting to unfold if we would simply listen and abide in Him alone.

  • This is one of those convicting yet peace-giving truths that a doer like me needs to hear over and over. Thank you.

  • Rebecca Radicchi

    Yes, yes, yes. So true and so beautiful. My heart shifted more to abiding through your words. I need reminding. Thank you!

  • Thank you so much for this. When I read the studies written by each woman I feel like they are so relatable and I feel comfortable reading and we’re all brought together reading about God. So cool. Thank you

  • Sometimes, I get so confused and frustrated about how I can help others come to know Christ; but then, devotions like today really bring me back to the sobering, humble thought of IT IS NOT ABOUT ME! We are to walk in obedience and holiness with Christ; He is the one that will do the work, we just plant the seeds…this reminds me of Mark 4:26-27, "And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how." The reason the man doesn't know how is because he isn't the one to make it grow, he simply plants the seed.

  • So I’m behind. But still reading. And God uses this reading, today, to again help me understand how unexplainable His love is for me. “We can only bear fruit if we are grafted into the Vine.
We can only love others if we are abiding in God’s love.
And we can only receive the gospel if we receive it whole—where the holy standard of a righteous God meets the irresistible grace of the Savior’s Cross.”

    Wow. The HOLY standard of a righteous God. The IRRESISTIBLE grace of the Savior’s cross. This is it. Exactly. The power and majesty of God. Given to us mere humans through Christ. Unfathomable love. Eternal life. Mine. This. Is. So. Humbling.

  • I love the distinction that we are to abide and the fruit will come. I too have often focused on having to "do" both of those things – abide and bear fruit. It is an overwhelming task and I never seem to do either of them right! But I love the idea that when we abide, THEN the fruit will come. It is our job to abide and draw near to Christ, soaking up every ounce of Him that we can, and His job to bear the fruit as we live out our lives for Him in the world.

  • Knowing that He cuts off the branches that do not bear fruit & prunes the ones that do – sometimes from our worldly perspective it can feel or seem like no matter how much I’m living in His love and making every effort to do what is right by him, I’m getting cut off, or punished by Him. I’m not a grape vine, but I’m guessing it doesn’t feel great to get pruned. Ouch. Parts of you that you liked or were attached to are suddenly torn away without notice and your immediate instinct is “OUCH! Why did you do that??” followed by some pouting, self-righteous reasoning why that shouldn’t have happened to you, and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Sometimes we never recover from our pruning. We’re so focused on the pain it brought or why another (potentially less sightly) branch didn’t get pruned as “bad” as we did. What I seem to lose focus on is that the when and the why are out of my control, and will never be IN my control. And I lose trust that out if that particular pain – out of that pruning – could potentially come the most beautiful fruit He’s ever allowed me to bear. But I wouldn’t have had the opportunity for that fruit to be born of my branch if He hadn’t pruned that piece/part of my life. It’s hard, as a human, to not focus on the here and now. We’re built for it. But if we abide in His love and lean in on His trust, our view can widen to see the bigger picture, so we can more easily accept our current circumstance, and, when we look back, more appreciate the fruit that was born out of it that would have never come to be otherwise.

    • Marianna

      You really hit home. On the dot. Thank you for your words and shared thoughts. May God bless you!

    • Olivia

      Wow. I really appreciate your perspective. It was a great remind for my current situation. Thank you!

  • Sorry, I didn’t spell check very well. I meant to say, “fail to cut off enough of the branches.

  • The best explanation I’ve heard on pruning is about grape vineyards. Every year after the harvest is over the gardener cuts back even the most prolific branches of the grapevine, to almost bare stubs. In some odd way , this allows for even more fruitful branches the following year. But this process is apparently so painful for some farmers that they actually have another gardener do the pruning for them, lest they fail to it off enough of the branches! You are right, only God in his sovereignty truly knows how pruning could possibly result in fruit in our lives rather than pain or “killing the while plant”, and yet if it works in the natural world, we Can trust our gracious , wise heavenly “gardener”, that it will work in our lives as well.

  • Something that struck me in today’s reading was that He “cuts off” the branches that bear no fruit, but He still “prunes” the fruitful branches. For me this is painful and brings a lot of “whys” to the table. Only the Lord knows the big picture & how my branches could be more fruitful when pruned.

  • How amazing is it that Jesus tells us to focus on abiding in him, in being with him, and not on producing fruit! The fruit is just the beautiful result of abiding. Thank you Jesus, for giving us the grace and love to abide in you.

  • loveHimso

    Jesus is not commanding His disciples to bear fruit. The command is to abide….abiding in Christ is to hold on to Him as if your life depends on Him… Because it does. You can not live in this fallen world without Him…It will eat you alive…But if you abide in Him…your fruit will grow. I’m not going to say that everyday I get it right. Because I don’t. And trust me God knows me. But one thing I can say is that my ATTEMPT everyday is do just that. Everyday that I wake up gives me a new opportunity to show grace that He has shown to me. Sometimes I get it right. Sometimes I don’t. But I do try….

  • Kasey Tuggle

    So many great truths in John 15! Abide in Christ! Stay focused on Jesus and the fruit will naturally happen! And, the liberating truth that we are chosen by God!

  • My life is a testament that when I abide in Him, the struggles of this life are met with a grateful heart. Life just doesn't seem to "get to me". In the good days , I can still find that gratitude and know the good is from God. My study notes from my bible read "we can walk through adversity without sinking into debilitating lows and manage our prosperity without deceptive highs". I know these are true because of Him.

  • I am getting caught up on my reading and devotional with SRT. Such a deep message. It’s ironic for me because the word “abide” had been popping up here and there after a non-stop Christmas season. After resting and reading on News Years Eve, the word “abide” made its presence 3 times…I hadn’t even really paid much attention to the sign hanging in our living room. New Years Day, I totally got the message loud and clear that ABIDE was to be my one small word for 2015. I realize I can never reach my fullest potential or purpose without abiding in Jesus Christ. Amanda, thank you for your message.

  • I'm telling you. I can make a 'to do" list out of EVERYTHING. I have grown up under "do this" and "don't do that"… AND the condemnation that results in my human failures to achieve these! Here's the thing… God doesn't just tell us to abide in Him… He supplies the strength to do so! Thank you Father, that when I'm struggling with abiding in You… With honesty, I can call unto you, and you hear me, turn your head to me and rescue me. Thank you Father that YOU are my strength and my portion. In YOU I'm found worthy. And in my weaknesses, YOU are made strong.

  • I am like Amanda I always look at what might happen wrong with everything.

  • Antimony

    Wow. What you said about “abide” versus “bear fruit”. So often I focus on the “do this, do that”. But He says “abide”. He says “but one thing is needful”. He says “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Mt 11:28-30). I keep wanting to focus on a checklist of requirements. But He calls us to a joyful, abundant life. He wants a relationship with us! Oh that I would really have that relationship with Him.

  • Ladies!! EVERYTHING Jesus learned from His Father, He has made known to us. They’ve even together for eternity and yet Christ has made His Father known. Isn’t that crazy as marvellous? I pray each and every one of you spends each day of your life seeking to know more of these truths revealed, to abide in our great Saviour. xx

    • Linda

      I love that!! As in John 1: 18, Jesus has “declared”or “explained” the Father. He truly does reveal everything about our Father. How glorious us that! Through our abiding in Christ, May we reveal Christ to to a lost and dying world. Thank you,lord!!

    • Hesaved83

      Amen, Renee!

  • Xiew May

    This is such a good read. I made a decision to abide in God today, and I take this as a confirmation from Him.

    I was struggling in my relationship because God had put very clearly in my heart that it wasn’t meant to be. I kept it inside me for months, not realising how it has been eating me away, little by little.

    I was very in doubt, very afraid to break my boyfriend’s heart. I have recieved countless confirmations over and over again, even from my mother, who is not a believer.

    Yet, I still could not be moved.

    I am very thankful that God didn’t give up on me. Despite countless times He tries to put some sense into me, He never did gave me up, instead He gave me a final push.

    I confided all God had told me to my mentor, and all the burden, all the chains are set free. I now see the need for me to abide in every of His will. After all, His ways are higher than my ways, His thoughts, higher than my thoughts.

    • Renee

      Amen sister. I’ve been in this position before and sometimes it’s terrifying. But when you let go of distractions and run after Jesus the greatest peace and joy flows to your heart and from your heart to others. Be courageous xx

  • Sarah Jane

    I was struck by the idea of being pruned. I feel like life can be going so smoothly and then you’re stopped in your tracks and hit bumps- being pruned, no doubt, and yet another time to show God’s grace. Awesome.

  • ABIDE= the one word I decided at the age of 30 that I would one day engrave in my husband’s wedding ring. Why? Because more than anything else that’s my desire for him. God has to be first so that when it feels like everything is falling apart we can be confident that it’s falling into place. God didn’t leave us in a fog to figure out his heart and know his business. I can’t help but compare a relationship with Jesus as Lord to a movie quote found in Lee Daniel’s The Butler. Jesus says ” I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15 The butler in training hears, ” The room should feel empty even when you’re in it.” In God’s kindness He draws us close, letting us know He sees us and delights in us as we delight in Him. Our joy made complete.

  • I also am the queen of focusing on the wrong thing! This so was necessary for me. Abide Emily, abide…

  • Amen. So be it. Lord, help us to abide.

  • Sydney Nyquist

    Learning to abide in Christ has been difficult through this season of transition that I've been in. Since I started college last semester, I've been uprooted from the sense of community and purpose that I was used to for several years. I've been frustrated for not knowing where God wants me to be, both as a part of the body of Christ and as a college student preparing for a future (uncertain) career. My frustration and uncertainty were so overwhelming that I spent my first semester mostly stagnant, not bearing any fruit as a consequence. I want this spring semester to be completely different. I would so appreciate you ladies' prayers for me to ABIDE in Christ, with eyes set on Him and His love first and foremost instead of only the end goal. I love that this chapter first starts off with Jesus telling His disciples to abide in Him, and then later He tells them His commandment to love one another. We can't do the latter without the first!

    • Bwalters

      Sydney….as the mother of one who abandon her faith to the world when she entered college, my heart jumped for joy at your devotion. He hears your heart, you need not be perfect, just be His. I am writing your name in my prayer journal, and will pray as long as he gives me breath…

      • Renee

        Bwalters – as a daughter who abandoned her faith and came back home to Christ – please know that His redeeming power is beyond imagination. He too knows what it is like to have a daughter who abandons her faith, for He loves us like His own children. Praying that your daughter will be irresistibly moved by the Spirit. My understanding of grace grew so much when I came back to Christ. Don’t give up, The Lord hears every prayer x

    • Renee

      Praying for you Sydney. College is a big time of change and God can use it wonderfully! I came back to Christ in college. When you surrender all to Him, He will take over your life in the most breathtaking way. Praying for you to seek Him diligently and wholeheartedly, that you would see your purpose in Him. I’ve graduated now and things are still uncertain – but please know that it’s so possible to be secure in Christ even in the uncertainty. It might be a time of pruning and refining :) X

  • I too was lost in the “bear fruit” sentences. Asking God if I am rightly bearing fruits. then once I turn to the devotion my heart sobs. I thank God for the #Shereadturth team. I also thank the team for allowing God to used them. I pray the team will remain strong in faith because when you start bearing this much fruit. The enemy get angry. God bless.

  • I didn’t really understand what it means to abide until I went through a study on Will Wyatt’s book Discovery. He uses getting on an altar as an analogy for abiding. I can only truly abide when I’m completely on the altar, ready and willing for God to use me. I can’t abide if I’m half on the altar and half off–not only is that really uncomfortable, but it shows that I’m trying to produce fruit on my own. As so many of you have already said this morning, I try too often to meet God halfway and take matters into my own hands, when all I really need to do is abide in the Vine.

  • Beth Warner

    Oh how I understand the pruning part. But, I must say, it’s truly worth it! Even through the pruning, The Lord had blessed me with some pretty darn good fruit!! Help me Jesus to abide in You everyday, and know your glory is coming out of this situation. You know how I cling to Your vine. Enjoy your day ladies.

    • Kendall_S

      oh the pruning! and oh His mercy in still yielding fruit from our brokenness…..such grace….such beauty! :)

  • lauraloewen1221

    I've always adored John chapter 15. Since I was in high school, it has had a special, tender place in my heart. Through studies with my Campus Life team I learned for the first time about this passage. Then, on the trip to South Africa that would then change the course of my life forever {met my husband there and we are now adopting from SA!}, our Bible teacher unpacked this chapter even further.

    Each time I read through the words on the Vine and the branches, on abiding, on loving…I am convicted. I always think I have abiding figured out; have loving others figured out. Like I'm somehow the expert in all areas of these practices. And then I read our Savior's words and I'm reminded that maybe I don't have it all together, maybe I actually don't know it all {oh, what a concept for this first born} but that I can just rest in Him. He'll take us just as we are, and He'll hold our hand while we're messing it all up and trying anyways. What a beautiful Savior!

  • Wow I am simply blown away today! First the great devotion and then I have read all the comments. Praying for those in need and rejoicing with those that had great revelation! This is my first time to participate in a group like this. How God has blessed me today. I can relate with all the post this morning.
    As I have meditated on this I have focused to on the end result as well and the scripture “But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James‬ ‭1‬:‭22″ came to mind. I strive to be a doer of the word not just a hearer. Then I realized I am doing what I think He would have me do and Not what His WORD says to do. I need to ABIDE. Be still and know He is God. Rest in Him. The doing is not me being busy which produces no fruit but in settling down with Him and I will be more rested and He will do the producing. I am not a writer it’s hard for me to get my thoughts out to paper. But I felt compelled to share this morning.

    • Hesaved83

      Cindy, Thanks for sharing because it confirms exactly what God has been speaking to me. Especially “Be still…” Psalms 46:10. Thank You Lord, amen!

  • thisgalsjourney

    So, I’ve been wrestling all day with what that might look like. I cannot stop doing what I know to be right, but if those actions are coming from merely a sense of duty or fear of disappointing God or people, they are likely not pleasing to Him at all. So, what does it look like to abide in our day to day life?? How do we cease striving, yet continue to obey while we learn the intimate dabs of faith? Maybe feeling follows action? Maybe as we do these good works, acknowledging that our intent is to honor him, even though our initial motivations came froma more human origin deep within?? Help me out, sisters. In your life, what does it look like to abide??

    • thisgalsjourney

      * dance of faith, not dabs of faith LOL

    • Sarah T

      I love your question here. Honestly, I have the same question as you. And maybe it is the opposite order that you stated. Maybe we first must seek to feel-to think about the love of Christ and pray a prayer of thanksgiving. Maybe it is more time spent in solitude praising Him. I don't know-which scares me a little. I, too, can become very 'checklist-y' or acts oriented. I pray to know what this looks like and live it daily. Thank you for your honesty here.

  • Last weeks sermon at church was focused on this passage! Some great thoughts here especially on being focused on abiding rather than producing fruit. I find it interesting how many times in the passage Jesus says you can't do anything without abiding in me and that non-abiding branches will be cut off. That is a scary thought, to be cut off without him! I also want to express my gratitude at all the comments after each day's devotional. I get so much more out of the reading when I listen to all of the great wisdom that's imparted in the comments. Thank you SRT ladies!

  • zurielraven

    It seems I am not alone! As soon as I read John 15:1-12, my thoughts went to, "Am I bearing fruit? What works can I do to bear more fruit?"

    We, as the human race, and even as followers of Christ, are not that different from one another! How we often focus on the wrong things! Amanda reminded of the truth when she penned, "[I] read Jesus’ words and hear all of the goal and none of the grace. I want the end but forget the means. Yes, bear fruit. Yes, love others. Yes, give grace to a world that will misunderstand and even hate us. But look back through today’s chapter: Jesus is not commanding His disciples to bear fruit. The command is to abide!"

    The Holy Spirit then reminded me of Hebrews 4:1-11, which speaks of entering into His rest, paricularly verses 9-11, "So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience."

    It's not about us striving to do the works, to bear the fruit. We simply must abide in Him, rest in Him, and the works will come, the fruit will come. We are such stubborn and disobedient children sometimes! He wants us to wait on Him so He can do it for us or help us. As I was getting a bowl of cereal this morning (fruity pebbles, ha!), I was reminded of a young child impatiently trying to do this task on her own, dropping the gallon of milk, or spilling cereal on the counter. If she had only waited on her Father, the mess wouldn't have happened … how many of life's messes could I have skipped by simply waiting at the breakfadt table of Life

  • I think this is simply a woman thing! You voiced the struggles of us all. Thank you for pointing out that the command is to abide, not to produce. Making that my goal for the new year!

  • Today, I will try to abide and just know that God wants me right where I am.

  • JessicaLoves___

    Sounds like a lot of us here are great doers, but not great abiders. I'm in the same boat. Focused on the wrong things so much of the time, which often just makes me feel unaccomplished (or when I feel accomplished, I focus on my role in that, not God's). Lord, help me to abide, not only to know what your desires are, but to be swept up in them, to have them flow from me naturally, with fruit resulting from my abiding, so that it can bring you glory instead of bringing me a sense of accomplishment for bearing fruit. A tree that bears fruit is just accepting of the nurturing that the gardener provides. It doesn't do anything to bring about the fruit on its own. It's just there, placed in the right circumstances to receive care and naturally responds with fruit. It can't water itself or fertilize itself. It just abides and lets the caretaker do the rest. Lord, help me to rest in you, trusting you to do the rest.

  • Connie Tramel

    Today I will keep my eyes on Jesus and abide. He did not come to judge me but save me. Beth Moore says “the good life is one that saves us from ourselves”.

  • Michelle

    Abiding is such a precious word. I picture myself clinging to the Lord's leg and wholly trusting Him, especially in this season of my life. It is so important to remember that He brings fruit, not us. I struggle with that constantly and find that pride is my main downfall. I pray for each of us today that we remember to SIMPLY abide so that he may SIMPLY provide.

    Blessings, SIsters.

  • I read the scriptures today in the Message version as I do often and thew word "organic" jumped out at me in verse 5:

    5–8 “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant.

    Bearing his fruit is "additive free". We don't have to DO anything except ABIDE in him. None of our actions, none of "my way", the fruit will be pure and nurturing if we just ABIDE.

    Father help me to abide in you today and everyday.

  • What does it mean to abide?

    I love looking at the Greek or Hebrew to help me see deeper meaning in God's word…
    Here, Abide is the Greek Meno, which means:
    -be held, kept, continually
    -to last, endure
    -to remain as one
    -to wait for

    To abide means to let Christ hold me and keep me, to continually allow him to draw me in to him, to sustain me, protect me and comfort me.
    It means to persevere, to continue to turn to him and cling to him when life gets tough.
    It means to seek unity with him – through reading God's word and through prayer, to seek to know him and allow him to transform me to be more like him.
    It means to wait for him, rather than living life on my own strength and following my own will, to wait upon him and to seek his will.

  • Wow! I need it that! I was reading through the scriptures first and my thoughts were exactly the same as Amanda's. I was asking God, "Okay, God, but I don't see your love in me, I don't see how I've remained in you…please just show me!" And then when you pointed out that we were supposed to "Abide" my first thought was, "Okay, what do I have to DO to 'abide' in You? How do I DO that?" Ugh…can we all tell that I have issues with not leaving things to God? So I looked up the definition in the Greek of "abide", which is meno and it means, wait; endure; have patience….none of which are my strong suit, but I'll do that for Jesus. The really AMAZING part though was when I was shutting out the various tabs that I had opened in searching for the mean of abide. I came back to John 15:4-5 and reread it and it wasn't just "Abide in me" that jumped out at me, it was, "and I in you." Oh, the sweet balm of His Word and revelation in my heart! He is patient with ME! He is waiting on ME! Even when I have failed Him, he still wants to "abide" in me as well!! I have a renewed desire to abide in my Lord this morning. Thank you, Amanda, for sharing this.

    • Morgan

      He abides in me. How beautiful! Thank you for pointing that out.

  • I really needed this message this morning. I get so wrapped up in what acts I should be doing to prove my love for God, making sure I read my bible and study enough and give, give give. I try to go the extra mile to try and bear fruit and when I have nothing to show for it I get frustrated. Sometimes I think too much and I feel like I'm not doing enough. I have 2 beautiful babies, I work full-time, I'm trying to go back to school and run a non-profit and I'm just overwhelmed. Instead of of just kneeling and praying I try to squeeze in bible study without just abiding in Him. I'm learning to just spend time with God daily and just rest in his Love and Grace.

    Jas – http://www.msjrivers.com/2014/12/7-ways-to-streng

  • Oh, my, Amanda, you hit it today. Thank you. Abiding is about all I have this week. My 81 year old mother died suddenly but mercifully peacefully Sunday night. Tough week trying to ‘do’ . Now I need to sit back and abide for a while.

    • Amanda Bible Williams

      Oh, Claire. I am so sorry for your loss. We lost my dad two years ago and there is indeed so much to “do” – it is such a complex and overwhelming time. I am praying for you as you do what needs to be done, that you will also have time to rest and remember, to grieve and pray and just be. May the peace of God cover you through it all. xo, Amanda

    • Julie

      I am so sorry. Yes, abide in Him. It is were you will find comfort and peace.

  • Kelly_Smith

    I, too, "hear all of the goal and none of the grace." I look at my branch and wonder is ther enough fruit? Is the quality up to par with the other branches? This is not the behavior of a branch. A branch focuses on staying attached. A branch holds on for dear life when a storm rages. A branch leans in, thirsty, when the ground becomes dry. A branch finds solace in the shade of other branches when the sun beats down hard and hot. Naturally, fruit begins to grow. I thank you, God, that your command is to abide, for that is enough for this branch. The fruit, that is Yours to grow and to receive the glory.

    • Kara A

      Thanks Kelly, this is beautiful! "A branch finds solace in the shade of other branches… " particularly stuck out to me today. What a reminder of the way that our lives and stories are woven together because we are united by theVine that gives us life and strength, of the support and encouragement we can both offer and draw from one another as we all seek to abide in Him.

    • Gayle

      I love reading your posts. You have such a way with words and sharing what God has laid on your heart. I can relate to what you shared today . . thanks for sharing.

    • Kelcie

      Beautiful explanation! Thank you!!

    • Beth Warner

      Love this Kelly, as I read it I picture our grapevine doing just that. Depending on other branches for support and shade.

  • I think as women especially, it’s part of our human nature as the bearers of new life – the caregivers – to focus on the “bear fruit” rather than he abiding.

    I was compelled to look up the definition of “Abide” (I am such a word nerd)

    Abide: wait for, endure without yielding, bear patiently, accept without objection, live somewhere, remain or continue.

    This gave me so much to think about!

    If I am in Him and He is in me, I will be able to wait patiently for His return. Enduring the things of this world without yielding. Accepting and bearing my trials, accepting the path I have been placed on and my given assignments here, continuing on this journey. Knowing my true home is with Him in Heaven.

    Beckey
    http://reallyreallyrealhousewives.blogspot.com http://www.etsy.com/shop/queenbsbusywork

    • nancy

      Wow. That definition is so helpful to me. I'm in a difficult waiting time. I pray I can "bear patiently, accept without objection, wait for" during this time and, most of all to "abide in Him." Thanks.

    • Elizabeth S

      Thanks for sharing the verbal definition today Becky! I think of us abiding in Him as us struggling to get all our daily tasks done but him massaging our shoulders saying, "Dear Daughter, rest in me" and we just fall back unto him which the greatest sense of joy, satisfaction and love that we have ever experienced. Thankfulness today for His Sons teaching that we are whole in him. Blessings to you.

    • Kendall_S

      beckey….i thought the same thing about the word "abide" and then forgot to look it up….perhaps because i was focusing on something else! HA!

      thank you for posting it here :)

  • This was a much needed message today. I have been seeking understanding of things that lay in my way lately. Barriers that are just so difficult to leap over. Ones I tire of yielding too. With the delivery of disappointing news last night, I began to wonder what the year was going to look like. I naturally began to fret over some decisions that will need to be made or change based on the new revelations. The tears just streamed at one point because the reality of what was to be was a nice one….I was grieving a future that for the first time, was going to put us on a smoother, less cumbersome path ….for once. So this word, "Every branch that does not bear fruit He strips away, and every branch that does, He prunes." This applies on so many levels for me right now. I need to remember that God will not only prune me, but also remove things and people in my life that don't fit His will when necessary …. so I need not reflect on what I thought the future was going to look like, but instead focus on what it will be through God, with excited expectation. He knows my heartaches here, my longings. He desires good things for me, I just need to remain in Him……fully. I am nothing without that. So whether my future looks less complicated or filled with all things I've dreamt of doesn't matter…..because even if they don't meet my earthly expectations, my future, while abiding in Christ, is the only future I want and that will always exceed my expectations, my hopes and my plans.

    Prayerful that I abide in Christ every moment of every day. That the pain of pruning, give way to beautiful blooms come Spring and that I reflect the love God has for me, for those around me and that I momentarily remember any future I had plans for, pails in significant comparison to God's heavenly plans. So as a flower turns to the sun for it's life, I will ensure that my focus is shifted, that my will is bent, that my head and my heart, my eyes remain on the Son. ~ B

  • Chelsea C.

    What an encouraging word today! I too was focusing on if I was bearing fruit and how to bear more and then I read your sweet words like the Lord was speaking right to me! Being here in His Word in my quiet morningsand throughout my day is all I need to do and the sanctification will come. Rest in the easy yoke of our Lord Jesus Christ! For what he requires of us is to just be in His presence and all the rest will fall into place! Just found my word for the new year and every one here after, Abide!!

  • thisgalsjourney

    “Teach us what it means to abide when all we want is to produce.”. That’ll preach. Let it be, Lord.

  • As a baby Christian I used to put so much emphasis on the bearing fruit part of my spiritual walk. So much that it would discourage me from being a Christian. I used to think who can do this thing? Or really, how can anyone do this thing? I have come so far from that way of thinking (thank God for that!) but I do bemoan and sometimes resent what I consider to be a Fruit-less life. But then I get glimpses of how He is changing me, little by little and I catch myself thinking a different way, or saying something that I know comes from Him, or doing something I wouldn’t have done before. I know He is working in me and I will just continue to do my part. Make myself available, obey his word, love Him with my whole heart… He will take care of the fruit and I find freedom in that.

    • TammyR

      Amen! I’ve experienced the same thing lately. Little changes.

    • Sereta

      I can relate. I am passionate about spiritual Formation then I realized I wasn’t getting what I am looking for because all Jesus wanted was a relationships with him not to prove that I can disciple my body and mind. I am still passionate about Spiritual Formation, but now I am more passionate about Jesus.

      Blessings

    • angieonmaui

      This. It’s like you are reading my mind and my heart! I’m learning to recognize that all the little changes He is making in me are His ways of pruning me. The fruit will come.

  • Monisola

    The holy standard of a righteous God meets the irresistible grace of the Savior’s Cross…..This is the gospel…..Thanks be to God for the vine Jesus Christ….Help us Lord to focus on the Abiding and not the Producing…..

    Sisters, pray with me, trying to find a church here in London.I’m open to suggestions. I just want a place where I will grow in Christ.

    • TammyR

      Praying that you will find a church!

    • MNmomma

      Prayer lifted for you my dear! Finding a church home is so important. We have been being pulled to a new church home for about the past 5 years. We moved back to the small town where we both grew up….and to the church that I grew up in. I have served as Sunday School coordinator, teacher, my hubby and I are on assorted teams/committees – our 3 boys are involved in many activities…..BUT we aren't being spiritually fed. At all. After years of looking, we have been led to a church in a neighboring town about 30 mins away…..It has been a blessing to our family & our spiritual lives. As we slowly transition to this new church home, the pain is difficult (we feel like we are letting people down)…..but we also know that the Spirit has led us…..
      Heather

      • Hesaved83

        MNmomma, I pray that you and your family will continue to walk by faith…let the Holy Spirit be your guide & I ask that The Lord will keep you all in His perfect peace. In Jesus’ name, amen!

      • Monisola

        Thanks….happy you found a church….I pray you and your family grow continually….

    • Avianca

      Have you tried Jubilee Church? Pastor Koleoso is an awesome man of God. A lover of Christ and of people.

      • Monisola

        I was at Jubilee last sunday….only problem is it is quite far from where I live. Thanks for this suggestion….I might consider staying there permanently regardless of the journey.

  • Oh, Amanda – I am YOU!! So needed this reminder! I must abide! The fruit will come – from Him! Yes! (I am a bit exclamation point happy – but it fits!)

  • Great devotion! Found this definition of Abide that I really like… To “abide” is to live from and stay in the very source of life and love – Christ.

  • Annabell Jennings

    I needed this

  • My mother in law, that was, is coming for lunch today…I am, to say the least, a tad apprehensive…nervous…and worried…I haven't seen her in a year, and a lot has happened in that year…the biggest being that my ex, got married to the woman he left us for…the final nail in the 'coffin' tagged, my life, finished, kaput, the end of the road….No hope…
    For the last 8/10 years, I have walked silently in grief, hurt, pain, sadness, unforgiveness,, unhappiness…..Doing it all pretty well with a smile…, to quote the singer……."my smile is my make up, I wear since my breakup….".Thing is, if truth be known, I have been existing…one day to another…when my ex left, he took family of over 18 years with him, people, into who's lives I had fitted, and they in mine, just left too…it's been a hard road, and a long journey…of loss, whichever way you look at it…I was removed from family invitations…just left wondering…what happens to me now…I just became Tina…no endearment or attachment to the family,..just Tina…

    So here we are, MIL, is coming to lunch today….No doubt she will, boost about her son and his new bride and how happy he is and how well they fit, she may mention her daughter in law this and her daughter in law that….a title I held once…and I may wonder, did she( MIL) talk about me like that, back then, when I was flavour of the month…But here's the thing…. I want to remain in …".Never Stopping, Never Giving up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love” of Christ …"… If ever I needed the fruit of abiding.. I need it today.,..Apart from you,.Lord God, I can do nothing…..help me to focus on YOU, and not the wrong things, to see the journeys end, here…today…in this visit..with, please God, a reconciliation that is suitable to all, a reconciliation, that abides in YOU…moving forward with you Lord God, as our guide, and you Lord God as our host…those days I hanker for are gone, but you Lord God, can lead us to bear New fruit, for this season., for this time..for your Glory, Holy Spirit come,…By and in the Mighty name of Jesus I pray….Amen..x

    Soliciting prayers sisters…for peace, wisdom, and a good, if not happy time…

    God bless your days ladies…don't forget to scatter JOY…xxx

    • BarbaraH

      Praying for you, dear Tina. May our mighty Lord restore to you the years the locusts have eaten. May He bring the reconciliation you pray for, the healing of relationships, forgiveness, and the healing of your battered and hurting heart. He will honour your abiding. May He enfold you in His love and peace, and grant you the wisdom you have asked for. May He bless this lunch time, and bless both of you.

    • KellyG

      Sweet Tina~
      I have prayed for you and will continue to do so today. Thank you for sharing your precious heart. As you walk through this challenge today, know that your SRT sisters are lifting you up in prayer!
      Love and hugs to you my long distance friend!

    • Monisola

      Dear Tina,

      I pray for you today, that you have peace that surpasses all human understanding. That you find Christ holding you in his arms today and always. AMEN.

    • Alicia

      Praying for you. My brother cheated on his wife and they are divorced. I love my brothers ex like a sister. I pray for a good visit and a redeemed future for you.

    • Libby

      I will be praying for you Tina!

    • Yaneli

      Praying for you, Christ grace is enough!

    • Chelsea C.

      Praying for you today Tina!

    • Onfaith

      Tina – i will be actively prayerful for you today. You wrote so eloquently exactly how I would feel as well. This leaves such a hurtful path for those who have to walk it and I will be praying that God provide you a great meeting with your MIL today. That perhaps she has some uplifting and encouraging words for you. That regardless, God will heal your hurts and bring peace where there is none. Thinking of you dearest Tina. You are part of this family, part of God's family, not only on God's invitation list, but part of the actual party. Love you T! ~ B

    • TammyR

      Praying for you today, Tina.

    • JanG

      Oh Tina, thank you for sharing so transparently. I pray something wonderful comes from today with your MIL. And that you'd be so filled with an awareness of God's love for you that peace and joy result.

    • MNmomma

      Prayers for Peace for you today Tina……huge hugs headed your way from Minnesota!
      Heather

    • Allison

      Praying for you Tina!

    • Debbie

      According to Jesus (in this same passage) we can pray for whatever we wish….I pray that you extend and receive love today. More than you could imagine. ~blessings~

    • Leenda324

      Oh Tina I so relate to the losses you describe. Praying for you now.

    • LizS

      Just Tina? Wonderful, open-hearted, vulnerable, refined in the fire, Jesus-loving Tina, beautiful daughter of the Most High God…there is nothing "just" about you! You are such a blessing to your sisters in Christ! I pray that you would have a very real sense of your dignity in the grace of Jesus, and that yours and MIL's hearts would be drawn to each other in a new and deeper way. Much love and a prayer.

      • Jody

        Thankyou for that

      • Katie

        LizS – this was so beautifully put; exactly the way Tina is to members here everyday. Tina – another member here echos and full heartedly believes these words as well!

    • sharijune

      I've already started praying for you, Tina. Your words spoke to my own deeply pained heart. I'm glad you wrote them. My circumstances are quite different from yours, but the pain and feeling of loss I'm experiencing is so similar. Love and hugs to you.

    • Heather

      I can so relate Tina , and it would be about the same time …. I remember sitting on my stairs when the shock came and realisation that he had left for good….. in tears and nog knowing where to turn, words just suddenly what felt out of nowhere " God works in mysterous way" now I dont know where this quote is from, but it got me through that day , what I took from it was all was in his hands, as time went on was he has a better plan , again and again these words got me through that day, I found myself bereft in tears in a fetal position many times , even in the shower my tears where as many the shower rained down on me, but somehow faith got me through I felt the weight of pain I was carrying lifted many times and gods love got me through many hurdles and still does. xx

    • Kendall_S

      a couple of days late in catching up on my SRT devotions and reading but still wanted you to know that i am praying even though this meeting with your MIL is over…praying you abide in Him as you navigate the relationships that are forever changed. thank you for being so open with us and sharing each day from your heart :)

    • Valanne

      Good morning Tina. It was a privilege to pray for you over this. Did you receive the peace and wisdom you were seeking?

      • tina

        Ah, Valanne, my MIL and I had a great afternoon together….we talked about the past, we reminisced…she did talk about her son and his wife…and I was peaceful with that….I have to move on,..and that meeting seemed to point me in that direction….things will never be the same…but they can be different, and good…Thank you for your prayers, dear sister….God bless you… x

  • melindawatters

    Oh, Amanda I can sorelate. Thank you for this word of readjusting our focus.

    Remain / abide in Him!

  • Nicole Contreras

    So often we tend to forget that the only way to be yielding is to stay in God’s word. To Be Ever present with Him. To be on this path He has given you. So many times we want to show our fruits because we as Christians should be fruitful, but to try to yield or bear fruit or to pretend or show off or hide doesn’t do us any good. If we are yielding, if we are fruitful it is because He is within us, because we are within Him. It’s the only way and so often we forget.

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